17 Resources to help anyone with buying property in Australia
Even with property prices rising in Australia, Michael Yardney of Property Update is of the opinion that becoming a renting investor makes sense. “I know many successful property investors with significant portfolios of properties around Australia who still rent their homes and enjoy the financial flexibility this affords them,” he says.
Foreigners don’t buy property in Australia only for investment purposes, of course. Many are drawn to live there by the weather, which is seldom even chilly throughout the year, and iconic destinations that include the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Kangaroo Island, the Australian Alps and the Tasmanian Wilderness.
Then there’s the lifestyle (“BBQs, beaches, sunshine and an overall healthy vibe way,” writes Irish Around Oz) and the way they talk. In fact, before you go, better brush up on your Aussie lingo.
If you’ve decided that Down Under is the locale of your next property investment, or if you’re ready to relocate (moving checklist in hand), read on.
We’ve put together a handy list of 17 online resources and real estate services in Australia that specialise in helping foreign investors and expats.
Bob In Oz
If you want to really know what it’s like to live in Australia, Bob will tell you. He and his family moved to Australia from England in 2007, and have blogged every step of the way. While some of the original articles are dated with regard to prices, many of the readers’ comments and ensuing discussions bring them up to date, and add value. In a cost of living post, for instance, removal expert Caroline Mason writes, “for duty free entry, goods need to be owned and used for a period of 12 months prior to departure for Australia.”
And remember, using CurrencyFair to transfer Pounds to Australian Dollars means saving more money for your new life in Australia.
A Place In The Sun
You may know it as a British TV show or magazine, but A Place in the Sun is also an online real estate listing, with more than 100,000 searchable properties from countries around the world. There are also advice and guides, including one on buying property in Australia.
Move To Australia
Written by a couple of who moved from New Zealand to Australia, this is a great resource for anyone moving to Australia, no matter what their country of origin. Everything’s covered, from visas, to finding a place to live and shipping your stuff, to driving in Australia. There’s a forum for discussion.
This online law firm can help with everything from visa applications, for businesses and families alike, and has information on buying property in Australia as a foreigner. This includes a look at the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) process, which reviews (and reports to the Treasury) all applications to purchase residential real estate by anyone who is not an Australian citizen.
Rightmove Overseas is a UK-based overseas property portal, displaying more 95,000 properties in some 75 countries, including Australia. There’s an Overseas Buying Guide For Australia which you can request and download. It’s written by experts in the property industry together with expats who have successfully purchased in Australia.
While this site is primarily for Singaporean citizens as well as foreigners wishing to purchase property in Singapore, Property Guru also contains general information on how to buy property in Australia, which has information that applies to anyone regardless of country of origin. There are detailed listings on Australian properties for sale, with a built-in mortgage affordability calculator, giving you an idea of what your monthly payment would be.
Founded by Matthew Montagu-Pollock after he and his wife were shocked by unexpected fees upon their purchase of an investment property in Vienna, the Global Property Guide is primarily financial in focus. For example, in its Australia Buying Guide, there’s information on who requires FIRB approval, a breakdown of realtor and lawyer fees, and details of other property purchase costs.
Home Loan Experts
Non-residents can apply for mortgages through Home Loan Experts, a privately owned mortgage broker with more than 40 lenders at hand, discusing all topics including tax matters for expats, how banks view foreign investors, and how Australian mortgages may be secured for expat spouses of permanent residents or citizens.
Real Estates Companies in Australia
National and International
The leading real estate brand in Australasia is Ray White. This family-owned business has grown from one office in Queensland, started in 1902, to an international group with 1,000 franchises in 11 countries. One of its divisions is property management, with more than 250,000 properties across the globe.
Another well-known real estate in Australasia is LJ Hooker. With 700 franchises across Australia and New Zealand, the company writes, “one of LJ Hooker International’s chief objectives is to make purchasing property and moving to Australia as easy as possible.”
Western Australia (WA)
Professionals Real Estate
Well-connected and widely known through Western Australia, Peter Taliangis of Professionals Real Estate can provide you with great insight and support, particularly in and around Perth, the state’s capital and most populous city.
1 on 1 Realty
Expat owner Caroline Bradbury at 1 on 1 Realty has the personal experience of being a foreigner buying property in Australia when she immigrated from Britain in 2003. She’s helped others make the move, too, as you can read in the site’s testimonials.
Kay & Burton serves local home buyers as well as those from around the globe who are searching for premium properties in Australia. Established in 1938, the branch offices now employ more than 100 people across Victoria.
With its head office located in Melbourne, Neesh Property was founded by Michael Sanz in 2008. With the recent opening of an office in Altona, the “One Stop Property Investments” company is growing. It offers personalised services to expat non-residents and foreign investors, including sourcing properties for purchase, arranging financing and managing rentals on investment properties.
New South Wales
This licensed buyers’ agency acts exclusively for Sydney property buyers. By finding the right property and negotiating the best possible price, they save purchasers time as well as money. SydneySlice assists local and national buyers as well those from abroad.
Overseas buyers, foreign investors and expats can use the services of this agency to find a home or investment property in Sydney and around the country. The agency was founded in 2001 by Rich Harvey, who writes that Property Buyer is the most awarded buyers’ agency in the nation.
Another buyers’ agency in Sydney and Melbourne, Cohen Handler are specialists in working with buyers from outside Australia. They not only find properties for their clients but will also manage clients’ investment properties.
Wondering where to settle in Australia? CurrencyFair spoke to local experts and expats: